A novel focuses on a spiritually ambitious power couple.
Peter Donovan is a 29-year-old stockbroker in New York City. In the opening pages, his 25-year-old wife, Amy, decides to leave him. She has taken up with a man in their apartment building. Peter uses this momentous event as an opportunity: He heads to a retreat in California. It is there that he learns to meditate and meets Stella Cornfield, an acquaintance of an investment banker. Stella is also recently single and on a spiritual journey of her own. When the two return to the East Coast, they connect and end up forming a couple. Both are successful and wealthy, yet they yearn for something more from life. They find themselves engrossed by the works of authors like Khalil Gibran and Neville Goddard. Both are also troubled by their former lovers. Amy seems bent on a downward spiral since her breakup with Peter and asks for help. Stella’s ex-boyfriend Marty Chen sues her on baseless grounds. Her lawyer demands that Marty donate $1 million to a charity of Stella’s choosing. Stella then decides to use the money to create something special with Peter. It is a decision that will ultimately benefit everyone. Zahr’s story is at its best when exploring the finer points of Peter’s and Stella’s beliefs. Goddard’s ideas receive particular attention and even influence Stella’s views on her health. Readers are shown firsthand just how one can take concepts and put them into action. But the dialogue that propels the tale tends to be less illuminating. Characters often express themselves with bland sentiments. For instance, Peter says of Amy early on: “I’m not eager to take her back nor do I miss her company.” At a later point, one character flatly asks another: “What are your plans for this weekend?” Nevertheless, the book makes philosophical concepts relatable. Though they exist in a work of fiction, the intriguing characters change in ways that demonstrate the true power of their convictions.
While not every moment is captivating, this uplifting tale shows how ideas can transform lives.